Easter Island is an interesting place for a number of reasons, not least being its famous statues.
NASA upgraded the runway at Easter Island's Mataveri International Airport to provide a Space Shuttle landing site for the Transoceanic Abort Landing (TAL) abort mode on missions from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
It's also interesting because it's extremely isolated location makes it the only ETOPS alternate available for flights from South America to the South Pacific, including Australia and New Zealand:
LAN Airlines serves Santiago to Easter Island daily with a Boeing 767-300ER, continuing twice weekly to Papeete, the latter segment being one of the more remote ETOPS sectors that is regularly served, exceeding the critical distance of California to Hawaii flights by about 14%.
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Karl L. Swartz.
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